V.'s Reviews > Flash for Freedom

Flash for Freedom by George MacDonald Fraser
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bookshelves: read-reviewed-2012

Fraser really revels in his un-PC approach to the telling of these stories but this one is particularly hard on a sensitive 21st century soul like myself.

While he has created a reasonable context for Flashman, both a realistic portrayal of the times and a particularly selfish hero, just seeing nigger, coon and relentless references to black people looking like monkeys used so freely and without judgement is hard to take at times, especially the callous way slaves are dealt with at sea. And yet it feels very well researched and I have no doubt as to its authenticity.

I would say that the blacks get short shrift in terms of screen time, barely having any lines, and pretty much all being female so Flashy can have his way with them. He never even seems to encounter a black man anywhere in two continents.

Fraser does make you look at what happened face-on without softening things up, but his relish as he does it is a little overly lip-smacking at times.

Lincoln is really well portrayed, and his manner of speaking very effective on the page, but not too many other memorable characters in this one. He is clearly a writer of ability, but seems to 'borrow' most of his plots and settings, this one feels like a lot of Conrad was used as a primer for the African stuff, and various American novels for the New Orleans and underground railroad stuff.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2012 – Finished Reading
October 21, 2012 – Shelved
January 17, 2013 – Shelved as: read-reviewed-2012

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